8 main causes of dandruff & how to avoid them



Dandruff is a skin condition that occurs on the scalp which causes irritation and flakes.

And let’s be clear, this condition has nothing to do with poor hygiene. Of course, suffering from dandruff is still not a pleasant ordeal.

You can’t function right with dandruff as it makes you feel itchy and leads to hair fall and sometimes even breakouts on your face.

Nipping it in the bud at the beginning of its occurrence is the right thing to do rather than deciding to live with it. But what is the causes of dandruff really? Let’s find out.

What is dandruff?

Dandruff is the result of when excessive dead skin cells get accumulated in the scalp.  Dead skin cell accumulation on the scalp is a natural physiological process and part of every person’s hair cycle. However, excessive accumulation of dead skin scales causes the scalp to get itchy and flaky. Those flakes and itchiness associated with it are what is referred to as dandruff.

Listed below are the causes of dandruff and how to avoid them:

1. An oily scalp

If you generally have an oily scalp, then you may be experiencing dandruff more often if you don’t care for your hair right. Excess oil production on the scalp is a breeding ground for dandruff because the oiliness promotes the growth of yeast which is bacteria causing dandruff which leads to a fungal infection.

Tip: Avoid toiling your hair if you already have an oily scalp because in this case, it can worsen the condition.

2. Age

Yes, age can be a factor in the causes of dandruff. If you notice people between the age of 16 to 25 experience dandruff more often and it keeps recurring. That’s because during this age group the sebaceous glands are at the peak of activity. The glands on the scalp constantly produce oil and between this age group that sebum production is accelerated. Therefore, dandruff is more stubborn and would likely to reoccur.

Tip: Opt for hair treatments once a month to treat dandruff.

3. Dry skin

If you have a dry scalp condition, you may already be experiencing flakiness and itchiness in certain areas more than others. But if the mane is overwashed or not oiled, a dry scalp will lack moisture and this could lead to dandruff. Excessive shampooing can strip the scalp of its natural oils, therefore, leading to more dryness, itchiness, and flakes.

Tip: Indulge in moisturising treatments for your scalp. Try a hot oil massage once a week.

4. Irregular hair wash schedule

If you are avoiding washing your hair you will encounter dandruff. If you do not shampoo regularly your scalp health is in jeopardy. If your scalp tends to get oily, you should wash your mane at least twice a week or even thrice if necessary. If you do not clean your scalp and hair regularly, it can lead to dead skin cell build-up and oil build-up which is just the right condition for stubborn dandruff to appear. And if that is not enough to cause dandruff, then yeast can also grow due to the excess oiliness causing the skin cells to increase and flake.

Tip: Wash hair regularly. Twice a week is ideal. Three times for an oily scalp. 

5. Exercise

If you are undergoing rigorous exercise for long intervals, you are definitely prone to sweating. A sweaty scalp is where dandruff thrives because that is once again oil production that is accumulated on your scalp. Therefore, it is essential to wash your hair after a tough physical training session.

Tip: Adapt your hair care game according to your workout routine. Do not refrain from a hair wash if things get sweaty.

6. Product build-up

If you use styling products, you are familiar with the term product build-up. Unfortunately, product build-up doesn’t only make your hair look greasy but it can also clog the pores on your scalp, therefore, causing irritation and dandruff. Some styling products even have a high alcohol content which can cause dryness on the scalp when it comes in contact with it. In response to the dryness, the scalp can produce excess sebum which in turn leads to dandruff if not washed with shampoo.

Tip: Avoid using styling products on your scalp. Keep the application at least two inches away from the roots.

7. Weather conditions

Extreme weather conditions like excessive exposure to sunlight or an extremely cold environment can lead to a flaky scalp. If you are in a place that has a humid climate, your scalp is most likely to get dandruff. Humidity and hot air can cause you to sweat, especially on your scalp. Excessive sweating means excess oil production which therefore can lead to the development of dandruff.

Tips: Change your hair wash products according to the climate. In the hot humid seasons an invigorating minty shampoo works great and if you are in a cold place, opt for a moisturising shampoo.

8. Emotional distress

Research suggests that stress is another big factor in causing dandruff. Excessive stress has a great impact on your bodily functions which is troublesome. When you are stressed, eating disorders and irregular routines can lead to conditions that breed dandruff.

Tip: Try to unwind and treat yourself to a head massage and therapeutic bath ritual.

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